The present study investigated the relationship between a subject's locus of control, knowledge of psychological ethical research principles, and perceived ethicality of a psychological research proposal as influenced by an authority figure. Subjects were asked to judge the ethicality of a research proposal, which half were led to believe had been previously deemed unethical by an authority figure. No mention was made of the authority figure's viewpoint to the other subjects. The major finding was that the variability in ratings in ethicality of the research proposal tended to diminished from the no mention to the rejection manipulation in those of all levels of knowledge of ethics and in those of relatively external locus of control, while those of relatively internal locus of control showed virtually no change in the variability of their ratings of ethicality between the no mention and rejection categories. Some suggestions were made for future research in this area.
Mihelic, F. Matthew and Connolly, William G., "Locus of Control, Knowledge of Ethics, and Perceived Ethicality as Influenced by an Authority Figure" (1978). Faculty Publications. 15.